KY Policy Blog

More Support for Family Caregivers Good for Seniors and State

By Ashley Spalding
January 6, 2015

Last year Kentucky ranked worst in the nation on the AARP Public Policy Institute’s scorecard on long-term care services and supports. A recent report by the Legislative Research Commission (LRC) provides some ideas about ways Kentucky could better support family caregivers of elders in order to improve long-term care.

Although the majority of seniors want to age in their homes, the state programs that provide related supports in Kentucky are seriously underfunded. Thus many seniors find themselves in nursing homes instead.

State funding for the Department for Aging and Independent read more

New Census Data Does Not Reflect Health Insurance Gains Made in 2014, But Shows How Much Kentuckians Needed Coverage

By Ashley Spalding
September 16, 2014

The Census data released today from the American Community Survey (ACS) shows that 616,000 Kentuckians or one in seven residents did not have health insurance in 2013, which is about what the uninsured rate was the previous year. Although Kentucky is making big gains in this area because of the Medicaid expansion and Kynect, they will not be reflected in Census data until next year. What the new data does show is how desperately Kentucky needed the coverage that is now available.

The new ACS data—for which respondents were asked read more

New Health Cooperative Leading Way in Providing Exchange Coverage

By Jason Bailey
August 13, 2014

Kentucky is continuing to gain national recognition for its success in expanding health insurance coverage, most recently in a Gallup poll showing Kentucky had the second-biggest drop of all states in the share of its population that is uninsured. Most of those gaining coverage are eligible for Medicaid, but people buying insurance through Kynect are also finding it very affordable, with an average premium for those receiving tax credits of only $88 a month after the credits are applied.

One factor helping make costs affordable may be the creation of read more

Evidence of Benefits of Medicaid Expansion Starting to Come In

By Ashley Spalding
July 18, 2014

Kentucky is starting to see the benefits of its decision to expand Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in dramatic reductions in the number of uninsured across Kentucky counties and increased use of preventive care services, according to a recent presentation to the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare by Kentucky Medicaid Commissioner Lawrence Kissner.

As seen in the maps below, the ACA has substantially increased the share of Kentuckians with insurance all across the state. In 2012, 75 Kentucky counties had uninsurance rates of at least 17 read more

Senate Budget Accepts Affordable Care Act Funds and Draws on Law’s Benefits

By Ashley Spalding
March 26, 2014

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Kentucky passed a hurdle this week when the Senate chose to accept billions of federal dollars in its budget to fund the law’s expansion of health insurance and built the budget based on the General Fund cost savings associated with the ACA. With 321,000 Kentuckians signed up for coverage so far and given the monies that will flow to health care providers, it’s becoming more unlikely Kentucky will ever move backward on this opportunity to make the state healthier.

The ACA’s implementation read more

Kentucky Among States with Biggest Coverage Assistance from Health Reform

By Jason Bailey
October 18, 2013

Kentucky is one of three states in the nation where more than four out of five of the uninsured will be eligible for health coverage assistance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a recent study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute.

The report estimates that 81 percent of Kentucky’s uninsured are or will be eligible for assistance through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), subsidies to buy coverage on the health exchange or subsidies to small firms to purchase coverage (see graph read more

Health Reform Is Increasing Coverage in Kentucky with More Gains Soon to Come

By Anna Baumann
September 19, 2013

595,000 Kentuckians, or 13.9 percent of the state’s population, had no health insurance in 2012, according to data released today by the Census Bureau. But the new data also show that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is already increasing coverage for young adults. And starting next year, two major provisions of the ACA will dramatically reduce the number of uninsured Kentuckians.

The percentage of Kentuckians ages 18-24 that are uninsured has fallen from 32.5 percent in 2010 to 25.8 percent in 2012. That improvement can be attributed to a measure read more

Need for Health Care Workers Is an Economic Opportunity

By Jason Bailey
June 3, 2013

Because the expansion of Medicaid and creation of a state health insurance exchange will provide health coverage to several hundred thousand people, Kentucky will have workforce needs associated with meeting the new demand for care. While that’s a short-term challenge, it’s also an opportunity to create more of the good jobs that Kentuckians need.

The Medicaid expansion is expected to make coverage available to up to 308,000 Kentuckians, while the exchange will offer insurance to another estimated 332,000. The Medicaid expansion alone will bring over $1.2 billion a year in read more

Implementing Health Reform Will Promote Entrepreneurship in Kentucky

By Jason Bailey
May 30, 2013

Another reason that Medicaid expansion and the rest of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is good for Kentucky’s economy is that it will help support the entrepreneurs and small businesses that are critical to innovation and growth.

The Medicaid expansion is expected to make coverage available to up to 308,000 Kentuckians, while the ACA’s health insurance exchange could cover another 332,000. That access to health insurance will help address the problem known as “job lock.” That’s when people are reluctant to change jobs because they will lose their health coverage read more

Medicaid Expansion Can Help Address Kentucky’s Substance Abuse Problem

By Ashley Spalding
May 22, 2013

There are many reasons to commend Governor Beshear’s recent announcement that Kentucky will be expanding Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Among the numerous important benefits of the ACA is that it will help with Kentucky’s substance abuse problem—and the Medicaid expansion will further broaden the reach of that benefit.

It’s no secret that Kentucky has a huge substance abuse problem. In 2009-2010, approximately one in 13 Kentuckians age 12 and over—and one in five of those 18 to 25—were dependent upon or abused illicit drugs or alcohol in read more